The power of observation can be immense – let’s never get away from that. Coaches, who gain formidable reputations for their knowledge are those who are active in the trenches, have watched many people change and react to protocols, analyse this and then learn something new. Yes, science is very important but who would you listen to – 1) trainer for 10 years, great physique, loves a bit of science or 2) book worm, trains a little, hasn’t broken any boundaries and will only recommend something provided there’s science available to back it up? In a heartbeat I hope most of you went for option 1.
This article was inspired having followed a lot of work from John Meadows, founder of MountainDog and an all-round top guy. His knowledge about the body and how nutrition and training responds to it is mind blowing. More and more UK based coaches’ work alongside him to improve their knowledge today. One of his biggest beliefs is that science matters but practitioners can sometimes be ahead of the game and understand things which science simply hasn’t caught on to yet. That’s a bold outlook but one I wholeheartedly agree with.
The thing is, this industry is all about results – if a piece of paper states that what you do is ‘wrong’ yet you have helped many people transform using this method then how can that stick? The evidence lies in the pudding. Studies are often restricted to an extent that they are not conclusive in every scenario – it isn’t their fault or the people behind them either because they are not trying to do this. Yet we get people who take the results and then apply them to every situation and state that this study ‘proves’ a point. Yes it does the point which was isolated in the study.
As an industry I think we need to find a middle ground – people need to stop spouting utter nonsense (such as no carbs after 6PM) and those ‘die hard’ fans of science need to be a little more logical in their approach.
We are trying to achieve the same thing (I hope), improve people’s knowledge, health, confidence, performance and physique. This requires a little from both worlds – good science based theory married together with real life experience and a little know how.